Must Listen: New Wye Oak – “The Tower”

02/10/2014 12:31 PM |

It’s been awhile since we last heard from Wye Oak. Their 2011 album, Civilian, was a masterpiece and it will definitely be a lot to measure up to, but it looks like the duo is prepared to just that. After a three-year break, the band returns with their fourth studio album, Shriek, which is due on April 29.


A little less than two weeks ago, they released the first cut from their new album and it’s called “The Tower.” We’re in love.

“The Tower” has all the qualities we’ve come to value in Wye Oak songs: lyricism, Jenn Wasner’s hazy contralto and that distinct trace of melancholy that has come to define them. At the same time, fans of Civilian may be taken aback at first listen because this sounds unlike anything Wye Oak has offered in the past.

The track opens fuzzily with an amalgamation of cello, synths and barely there percussion before Wasner comes in:

The one that sings around the sun cannot be bothered with the dark…

Wasner moves into a gorgeous chorus, joined by synths an octave higher than before, which leads into a measured guitar line and an ever-building wave of strings and synths. The wave crashes and we return to the heavy step-like rhythm of the song’s opening for a while. “The Tower” ends with a bit of organized chaos as choked strings drop in and out and a wonderfully retro keyboard arrangement joins the mix. Things end in as much confusion as they began.

This early offering from the Baltimore duo has us really, really excited for their new album. Give the track a listen above and tell us what you think in the comments section.